Merrill Wants to Hire Former Goldman Executive

Merrill Lynch & Co is seeking to hire Thomas Montag, who retired as one of Goldman Sachs co-heads of global securities trading last month, according to financial sources.

Merrill Lynch is offering Montag a similar global role, but one source within the U.S. brokerage firm said he had not yet decided to accept the offer. Merrill Lynch spokesmen declined to comment.

Merrill Lynch named former New York Stock Exchange CEO John Thain, another Goldman Sachs veteran, as its chairman and chief executive in November after the brokerage cut the value of risky assets by $8.4 billion, triggering the biggest quarterly loss in Merrill's history.

Montag, 50, ascended to one of the biggest jobs on Wall Street in October 2006, succeeding Gary Cohn, who had been named co-president of the investment bank in July 2006.

Montag joined Goldman in 1985, was named partner in 1994, and became a member of the firm's management committee in 2002. For three years in the late 1990s he was global head of derivatives based in London.

He was best known for leading Goldman's Japan operations during a period in which he was that country's largest individual taxpayer.

Montag returned from Japan earlier this year. In New York, together with Goldman's Asia Chairman Michael Evans and Europe Chairman Michael Sherwood, he led Goldman's largest business, the trading of equities, fixed income, commodities and currencies.